Somebody scrawled graffiti on the outside walls and door of the heritage St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on or around May 31. Photograph By TWITTER/SECWEPEMCC SECWEPEMC CROW

Somebody scrawled graffiti on the outside walls and door of the heritage St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on or around May 31. Photograph By TWITTER/SECWEPEMCC SECWEPEMC CROW

Tk’emlups condemns vandalism at Kamloops Catholic church

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was built by Catholic Missionaries

  • Jun. 7, 2021 2:11 p.m.

-Kamloops This Week

The Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation has expressed its disappointment with graffiti discovered scrawled on the outside of a heritage church on its reserve.

In a press release, Chief Rosanne Casimir said the band was “deeply disturbed to learn that the Saint Joseph’s church was vandalized.”

The graffiti was apparently discovered late on the morning of Monday, May 31— just days after the band announced it had discovered the remains of 215 children who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School, which was run by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a congregation of the Catholic Church.

The Kamloops Indian Residential School operated from 1890 until 1977, with the federal government assuming administration of the school from 1969 until it closed in 1977.

Photos of the graffiti posted to social media show the words “evicted,” “banished” and “crime scene” written on the siding of the century-old building at 200 Chilcotin Rd., as well as a large “X” on the door.

Much of the graffiti appeared to have been scrubbed off by Tuesday. though some of the markings were still visible.

Kamloops RCMP has said it is investigating.

“The church was built from the ground up by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc members,” Casimir said in the release. “We understand the many emotions connected to a Roman Catholic run residential school. At the same time, we respect the choices that Tk̓emlúps te Secwépemc ancestors made, over 100 years ago, to erect this church.”

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, at the west end of Chilcotin Road, was built by Catholic Missionaries and the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc people, established after the Hudson’s Bay Company relocated its fort to the west side of the North Thompson River in 1843.

Although the signboard in front of the church today indicates it was originally built in or around 1870, part of it is actually much older.

When the Tk’emlúps band undertook restoration of the church in the mid-1980s, the remains of a hewn log floor system were discovered within the building, possibly part of the original church erected on the site by the Secwépemc te Tk’emlúps. The first missionaries in the area were the Jesuits in 1843. Reports of a cabin at the site date back to 1846.

The church’s appearance today is how the church was reconstructed in 1900.

READ MORE: Indigenous leaders frustrated after Pope passes on apology for residential schools

READ MORE: Motion passes urging feds drop court actions on rulings regarding First Nations kids

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Kamloops

Just Posted

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
‘Stay-at-home mom’ works to raise $25K to help Options build housing in Surrey

Tammy Bourelle boosts ‘Women of Options’ fundraising campaign, which ends June 30

Surrey Libraries will host a series of free contests and programs for teenagers this summer. (Malin Jordan photo)
Surrey Libraries offering series of free summer programs for teens

Writing contests, virtual programs scheduled throughout summer

Emergency crews responded to a large truck fire under the Alex Fraser Bridge around 8:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Christine Tobias/Twitter photo)
Dog dies in truck fire under Alex Fraser Bridge

No people were injured in blaze that consumed two semi-trucks around 8:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 17

Four Surrey students (from left) Charlize Abban from Guildford Park, Mekdim Dereje from North Surrey, Chelsea Michalik from Guildford Park and Sarah Sohail from L.A. Matheson, are some of the latest recipients of $40,000 Cmolik Foundation (Photos: surreyschools.ca)
Four Surrey students receive $40K Cmolik scholarships

Students are from Guildford Park, L.A. Matheson and North Surrey

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey ranks eighth in Top-10 list of cities of the future in the Americas

This is according to the Financial Times’ fDi Magazine, a bi-monthly publication out of London, England with a circulation of 15,488

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

Victoria area mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

Audrey Inouye (right) with her two sons Kiyoshi McMillan (left) and Kaito McMillian drop off her milk to hospital volunteer Sylvia Hendel at a human milk depot on October 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Fraser Health appeals for breast milk after unexplained drop in donations

Give your breast milk and save newborn lives, the health authority is encouraging mothers

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

Most Read